Fear Factor or No Spin Zone

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Adam and Ryan Tipton are local celebrities now.

It wasn’t long ago the Calera twins were just college kids at Montevallo. Now, they are Fear Factor veterans.

For those of you who watch The O’Reilly Factor or TV Land reruns at night, Fear Factor is NBC’s hit show, where twosomes try to win money by overcoming their &uot;fears.&uot;

The Tiptons jumped out of a helicopter into water and drank grinded-up cow parts (no lie). Ryan even spent some time inside a tanker truck half-filled with water.

They didn’t win but did take home $25,000 for winning one of the stunts.

Reading about their heroics made me think: What if I applied for Fear Factor?

So while the bosses were hard at work last week, I decided to check out the &uot;Season Five Contestant Application&uot; form online.

Some of the questions are rather mundane. Where do you work, what is your level of educational attainment, etc.

Others are more thought-provoking.

Here’s one: &uot;Do you work out? If so, what types of activities and how often? (Be as specific as possible).&uot;

Hmmm. No.

Okay, another one: &uot;What sports organizations have you been a member of? (i.e., High School; College; Minors; Professional. Please list all that apply and the levels played)&uot;

I tried my hand at some high school football, basketball and track, but my greatest athletic achievement came during a Barons’ game. That’s when the World Famous Chicken doused me with water.

&uot;How are you competitive in your every day life?&uot;

Just ask my future son, Jonathon. We trash-talk more with computer pinball than Terrell Owens does on Monday Night Football.

&uot;Have you had any experiences that have traumatized you? If yes, please explain:&uot;

Unfortunately, yes. I was about 10 years old, and a green lizard jumped on my shirt.

I froze with fear, and screamed something like &uot;UGHHH!&uot; (Think of Charlie Brown the split-second after Lucy pulls the football from him.)

The lizard went on to television success by selling car insurance. I’m still scarred.

&uot;What is your unique and personal motivation for wanting to compete on the show?&uot;

Money. Lots of it.

&uot;How would you use $50,000 in Fear Factor winnings?&uot;

Counseling for the lizard experience.

&uot;What conversation topics are ‘off limits’ for you at a dinner party?&uot;

Anything that has to do with bugs, organs, surgery or heights.

&uot;What is the most daring and dangerous thing you have ever done? Describe the circumstances:&uot;

I was in a bridal store with my beautiful fiancee, her friend and their children. I made the comment to her friend that all wedding dresses look the same to men. Stupid, stupid Patrick.

All I know is that when my bride walks down the aisle June 25, she will have the prettiest and most distinct wedding dress in central Alabama.

&uot;If you were going to be in People magazine, what inside info about you would be put up next to your picture?&uot;

It took him 27 years to look this good.

&uot;Describe your most embarrassing moment.&uot;


&uot;What is the weirdest thing about you?&uot;

I’m normal.

&uot;What is your strategy to win the game?&uot;

Play the children’s version, where all you have to do is eat gummy worms and beef jerky and grab flags in a Moonwalk.

&uot;How do you feel about opening up yourself and your life as an ‘open book’ on national television?&uot;

If Paris Hilton can be a television star, why can’t I?

&uot;Do you smoke?&uot;


&uot;Can you swim?&uot;

I reached ‘Guppy’ status at the Bessemer YMCA.

&uot;Write a short poem or rap.&uot;

My name is Pat

And I can rap

Boom boom boom,

Che boom boom

&uot;What do you fear?:&uot;

* Eating Live Animals: Yep

* The Boogie Man/Night Crawlers: What is this? Clifford, the Big Red Dog?

* The dark: Nope, I sleep during that time.

* Flying: Nope, as long as my feet can touch the ground.


Add your own: The old bald guy that dances on the Six Flags commercials and the Burger King.

&uot;How much skill do you have at…&uot;

* Hand-gliding: Chuckle, chuckle

* Cliff diving: I’d kill myself.

* Risky behavior: I ran a yellow light the other day.

* Street fighting: Why would I want to fight a street?

* Eating Unusual and Rare Cuisine: Does Vienna sausages count?

&uot;Have you ever written, contributed to, or been interviewed for any magazine or newspaper article, radio or television program, or written or contributed to any other print or media?&uot;


Maybe this Fear Factor gig isn’t for me. I’m too good for the program, and winning $50,000 is highly overrated.

No Spin Zone, anyone?

Patrick Johnston serves as staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at mailto:patrick.johnston@shelbycountyreporter.com